02:15 GMT +319 October 2019
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    Arab leaders pose for the camera, ahead of the Arab economic summit in Beirut, Lebanon January 20, 2019.

    Around 20,000 People Protest in Beirut Amid Arab League Economic Summit

    © REUTERS / Dalati Nohra
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    BEIRUT (Sputnik) - About 20,000 people participated in mass rallies organized by the Lebanese Communist Party in Beirut on Sunday to protest the authorities' economic policy amid the Arab League Economic and Social Development Summit, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

    "We organized this demonstration before the Arab League summit [was scheduled], but when the date of the summit was announced and it coincided with the rally, everything turned out even better. Our demonstration has become a message to those [Arab League] leaders who are now meeting [at the forum], because in many Arab countries, the socioeconomic situation is even worse than in Lebanon, and people are taking to the streets [there]," a member of the communist party's political bureau told Sputnik.

    READ MORE: Lebanon Explains Countries' Leaders Non-Participation in Arab League Summit

    According to the organizers, the number of demonstrators had surpassed their expectations, with several non-governmental organizations and other political forces joining the protests as well.

    The protesters, notably, accused the country's authorities of deliberately causing a financial crisis in Lebanon, also allowing unjustified price hikes and low wages.

    The Arab League summit began in Beirut on Thursday with a session of a committee of specialized delegations and is expected to conclude on Sunday. Almost all leaders of the league member-states, except for the Mauritanian president and the Qatari emir, refused to participate in the event, sending other high-level representatives instead.

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    protests, Arab League Summit, Beirut
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